How much will editing cost? Can you give me a price range? And where/ on what sites do I avail of the service?
What sort of editing? Copyediting? Developmental editing?
Copyediting and then proofreading.
It depends what kind of quality you want. If you’re looking for something generally cheap, then people tend to go to sites such as fiverr.
thanks! I’ll check it out…
Make sure they edit a sample of your work before you sign a contract to be sure they have the skills.
Hi! My name is Kate and I am an editor who works specifically with self-published/publishing authors. I charge based on what the author’s editing needs are. If you are interested in learning more, you can find me on Facebook (The Authors’ Space).
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Lina - Community Ambassador
As others said earlier it will really depend on the different types of editing your manuscript will need. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect.
Professional editors can be found online to get your story ready for publishing. It’s important to remember that most editors charge in these two main ways.
- They will charge you a flat rate based on your word count (e.g. $250 for 10,000 words or less)
- They will charge per word in the document (e.g. 5 cents a word)
The 2nd option may seem more alluring but if you’re writing a 100,000-word novel, the price tag will quickly add up. I highly recommend checking out [Reedsy] which provides a nice breakdown of the average editing rates per editing type.
Content Developmental Editing= $.024 (per word)
Copy Editing= $.017 (per word)
Copy editing+ Proofreading= $0.019/per word (per word)
Keep in mind that editing rates vary when you factor in the genre you’re writing in. Some genres on average will cost you more. In each listing of the different editing types, Business/Self Help ranked the highest. If you need to get a quick gauge on how much money you will need to invest to get your particular book professionally edited I would recommend using the Reedsy Marketplace calculator here.
As you can imagine the costs to edit can quickly add up with your word count. Here are some cheaper alternatives if your budget is tight. These sites will connect you to editors that can fit your specific needs:
If you decide to go down that route, consider each editor’s level of experience, type of editing they do. If they have a star rating or customer reviews that would also be helpful along with their pricing.
I hope this helps.
Worth noting that several sites consider paid editing not to be generally worthwhile, and often a publisher kickback scheme.
Instead, they recommend free sites run for sweat equity, like critters.com. Most want a certain number of edits or betas from you before your work goes up for critique, but when it does, you get back several right away. These usually include line edits, spelling and format corrections, plot logic suggestions, character development hints and considerations, so forth.
Most find such services more than adequate, saving thousands of dollars for the investment of a few pleasant hours of time, that turn out to be very instructional, for the experience builds personal skills and gets manuscripts preened.
There is no college of critique degree. Its a matter of practice, references, and talent for it. Many “professional” authors use such sites.
To find editors, just Google for them and sort it out yourself. Writers digest, Absolute write, Writers Beware,The SFWA, and similar digests and sites also list or advertise them. Be certain to check the authenticity of references independently, and require full, written disclosure of all costs and fees, and require a definite date for completion, again in writing – or move on to the next in line.
Thank you very much! I’ll try it too
Thank you! My novel is around a 100,000 words so I will check out Reedsy.
Some copy editors charge by the hour instead of word count, also.
A good one, regardless of hour or word, will ask for your first chapter to figure out how much work needs to be done before quoting a price.
Also, you will need to decide what level of copy edit you want: heavy, average, or light.
For instance, an MS with a 5K word sample that is riddled with grammatical and punctuation errors plus needs to be cut down to meet a particular word count is going to require less time and effort than another 5K piece without dead-weight words and good grammar.
You can always save yourself money by first running the the MS through a good grammar checker (Grammarly, Prowriting Aid, or even MS Word) first and removing as many dead-weight words a possible. I have a link to a Google sheet on my profile for dead-weight words that you can make a copy of and use.
This will allow your copyeditor to focus on consistencies, redundancies, and maintain author’s voice. They’ll still catch the advanced grammar errors, but this will streamline the process.
Also, you don’t want the same copy editor to proof your final MS. MS blindness is real, even for copy editors. You want fresh eyes.
To answer your question on prices:
Edit: All rates in USD. You can locate copy editors using the #amwriting #amediting #WritingCommunity tags on Twitter.
Hourly can cost as much as $40 per hour for a certified copy editor, but it can be as low as $20 if you look around. A 100K word manuscript can take 24–36 hours (average of $60–120 per 10K words) depending on the amount of work needed and the level of editing requested.
For by the word, you can find anywhere from $0.005/word ($50/10K) to $0.025/word ($250/10K). Some of the price differences are based on education and credentials in the field, as well as experience.
Research multiple editors. Make sure you get a sample of editing from them before signing a contract. Realize it can take up to 2 weeks to edit a 100K MS because copyediting is not something that can be done well more than 4–5 hours in one day. Plus, most editors will be working on multiple projects at once.
And before you balk at these prices, realize copy editors are hit with high self-employment taxes and are paying not just their salaries but also operating costs of their business.
2nd edit: Proofreading prices are lower than copyediting. However, some editors call light copyediting proofreading. The term proofreading usually refers to the last pass through of the MS after the copyedit has been completed and the author has made the edits suggested. The proofreader verifies that the edits have been completed as indicated and that no new errors have been created during the copyedit adjustments.
Thank you for sharing!
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